AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions

PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY FOR PART-TIME FACULTY

WHEREAS, in order to receive credit for any year of public service to count toward the Department of Education's Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, higher education academic faculty and professional staff must be employed at least 30 hours every week for eight months at a public institution; and

WHEREAS, employers who must certify these hours routinely and drastically underestimate them making it nearly impossible for any part-time UUP member to qualify for loan forgiveness; and

WHEREAS, part-time academics and professionals working the equivalent of a full-time obligation by combining appointments at more than one institution cannot qualify if employers underreport actual hours worked; and

WHEREAS, approximately 9,150 UUP academic and professional members are employed in part-time positions as of May 2014; and

WHEREAS, UUP's part-time members who do not or cannot prove they work the equivalent of 30 hours per week can never qualify for loan forgiveness no matter how many decades they are employed; and

WHEREAS, even the IRS has declared that in the case of adjunct faculty, institutions must count all hours "required" to be spent outside of the classroom for the purpose of determining full-time status for the purpose of eligibility for employer-sponsored healthcare under the Affordable Care Act:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers actively promote the extension of eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program to part-time faculty, graduate employees and staff working at colleges and universities, by seeking to change the eligibility requirements by either:

  • Exempting part-time faculty, graduate employees and professional staff who work at nonprofit and/or public institutions of higher education from the requirement to work at least 30 hours per week; or, if achieving this exemption proves to be impossible;
     
  • Allowing part-time faculty, graduate employees and professional staff to qualify on a pro rata basis; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT to actively campaign to ensure that higher education employers adequately publicize the PSLF program and that said employers accurately and promptly report on the "employment certification" form the number of hours that "part-time" faculty, graduate employees and professional staff have actually worked.


(2014)